Anesthesia Complications – Know The Risks

A couple of years ago, a woman was left in a vegetative state following surgery for her carpal tunnel syndrome.  According to her family’s attorney, she was given too much sedation.

While anesthesia errors in Virginia are uncommon, when they do occur, the outcome is usually grave. Patients are often left with severe brain damage or other injuries, and that is if they even survive. In the right situation, this is Virginia medical malpractice.

According to WebMD.com, there are many possible complications associated with anesthesia.  Some of these complications include the following:

  • Systemic toxicity.  This complication can occur when anesthesia is given in high doses.  The anesthetic gets absorbed through the bloodstream into the body, impacting breathing, blood pressure and other functions.
  • Nerve damage.  A regional anesthesia can cause nerve damage if it is injected too close to a nerve or the spinal cord.  Patients might experience pain or numbness in the affected area.
  • Aspiration. The use of general anesthesia restricts swallowing, coughing and other throat reflexes that help prevent aspiration.  While aspiration, which can occur when an object or liquid is inhaled into the lungs, is a potential anesthesia complication, it rarely happens.
  • Death.  According to WebMD, death occurs in about 1 out of 200,000 healthy people who are given anesthesia.

This list doesn’t include every possible complication.  Heart attack, stroke and changes in blood pressure have also been associated with anesthesia.

Was it medical malpractice?

Sometimes complications arise during surgery, including anesthesia problems.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean medical malpractice occurred.  If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries caused by anesthesia, you may want to talk with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney.  A lawyer will be able to review your case to determine if medical malpractice occurred. As unfortunate and uncommon as Virginia anesthesia errors are, this is truly the only way to find out if malpractice took place.

You can order a FREE copy of our consumer guide, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, to learn more about Medical Malpractice by following this link.

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Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney